PLCB’s new initiatives

  • Emily Previti

From The Context, PA Post’s weekday email newsletter:

Results from Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records’ survey of the commonwealth’s open records officers are out ahead of National Freedom of Information Day this weekend. Jan Murphy did this story about the report for PennLive. -Emily Previti, Newsletter Producer/Reporter

On the booze beat

Rachel McDevitt / WITF

Brad Moyer goes over the beginning steps of home brewing during a class at Shippensburg University.

  • Pennsylvania produced more barrels of craft beer than any other state, with the industry’s state economic impact ballooning to $6 billion last year from $1 billion in 2011. Breweries also have a reputation for playing an outsized role in community revitalization. With all that in mind, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board started offering grants to help educate the burgeoning brewing workforce. WITF’s Rachel McDevitt has a story about one resulting program at Shippensburg University.

  • The PLCB is also auctioning off rare bottles of whisky — and officials say it’s not about making money. Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer explains here.

  • Meanwhile, in Alaska, the state is considering dissolving the entity tasked with regulating alcohol (and marijuana) amid a drink tax debate in its largest city.

Best of the rest

Kristoffer Tripplaar / Sipa USA via AP Images

A logo sign on a Hyperloop test track outside the headquarters of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX, in Hawthorne, Calif.

  • State transportation officials have committed $2 million to studying toll, traffic and other potential effects from fast-emerging “hyperloop” technology. Bobby Allyn has the full story for Keystone Crossroads.

  • StateImpact Pennsylvania has been following the story of how air quality in Western Pa. dramatically degraded after a fire damaged pollution controls at a U.S. Steel property in Clairton at the end of last year. Amy Sisk has this update on the situation, including Clairton Coke Works saying it will complete repairs more quickly than expected.

  • A federal court has indicted eight high-level gang members on federal weapons and drug trafficking charges. The Berks County district attorney called Trinidad DTG “the most violent drug organization” his office has ever encountered and said the criminal organization is partly to blame for a near-record homicide count in Reading last year. Michael Rubinkam has more in his report for the Associated Press.

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